Can Google+ Defeat Facebook?

Google is heavily promoting their Google+ social platform both online and in television advertising, but independent data has suggested so far that users don’t use the service much after they register.  Google+ is an online social networking site similar to Facebook.

Their distinguishing feature is that they have ‘Circles’.  Circles essentially allow you to customize and categorize your friends list. In the real world we don’t share everything with all our friends in the same way.  Who wants discuss the same subjects with your boss, close friends, and parents?  It doesn’t normally happen, so Google+ has accommodated for this. Other features include ‘Sparks’.  Sparks is an online sharing engine. You simply add your interests and a variety of related content including videos will be delivered to you.  Now, Google has revamped Google+ in an attempted makeover to challenge the Facebook giant.  In general, the redesign allows uploaded photos and videos to be full bleed, as part of the beauty enhancements.  In addition, there is now a separate ‘Hangouts’ page where people can see invitations to video conferences from contacts in their Circles and get quick access to watch or join public live video Hangouts.  Other changes include a new ‘Explore’ page that shows popular Google+ pages across the whole social network, a new profile page with larger photos, and a chat list that highlights people you know.

While the new features were generally well-received, critics argued that Google has yet to make a significant impact on Facebook’s dominant position in social networking.  However, Google notes that there are more features in the pipeline.  Does Google have a chance to compete against Facebook in the months and years to come?  Will people be willing to make the switch or use both?  Google thinks so and with their claim that more than 170 million people have upgraded to Google+ only time will tell if their revamp makes a scratch in the social media world.  What do you think?

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